First and foremost was the Opening choice. If you're like me, the music and character exposure are a big deal. It's supposed to be that minute and a half HOOK that catches your attention and makes you want to sit through an episode or series; especially if you're new to it. The showing of characters of this series for the opening chosen works well, but the song choice I think was absolutely aweful. If Funimation really wanted to grab the viewer and make them say "Wow" from the get-go, I think Re-write would have clearly been the best choice for the opening. Ready, Steady Go just... seems so lacking compared to to Re-write. For an opening, it just feels like someone built a Hyundai body over a Rolls Royce interior. The insides are fantastic and captivating, but the external appearance (like the opening.. the first thing a viewer sees) is just... lackadaisical. IMO, poor choice. For channel surfers, I bet a lot of people flipped right then and there, which is a shame.
I think the voice actor used for Al and Lust are a pretty decent fit. It took two episodes, but I'm okay with Mustang too (don't know where people got the idea he sounds like a hick). Pinako didn't seem to sound old or ratty enough compared to Miyoko Asou, the original VA. Voices I feel like nails on a chalkboard to me first and foremost is Ed. No offense to Vic Mignogna, but the voice contrast between him and Al are just WAY TOO far apart. Remember, he's only a year older. Also, like Stand Alone Complex, I was really hoping that when they were choosing voice actors for the dub, that they would try to pick people with the same "voice color" as the original japanese actors. You know, to try to sound at least in the same tone of the original, but with just a different language. They did a fantastic job on Stand Alone Complex in that regard. Hughes.... *sigh* I'm quite dissappointed in as well. Same thing. Voice volor is totally off. Roze? Not quite what I had in mind, as probably many "FMA purists" would agree to. Pretty much all the non-vital characters are acceptable since they're parts are short. I was shocked that Bard of the Blue Brigade was better casted and sounded much like the original, but not the main characters of the show. WTF? Which leads me to my next point.
For the most part, this is done pretty close to the majority of the fansubs and official website. Pretty glad to see that. "Bald" of the Blue Brigade.... sounded weird... but he's only in 1 episode so I kinda let that one go. *Liza* Hawkeye won't though. Seeing that... hurt. what are they gonna pronounce it like? Lie-zuh?? or like "Lee-sa?" I'll be waiting, at the cringe for that one. General... Hakuro.... now Haruko. Okay, small flip. Actually sounds okay to the ears too. "Vato Falman" W T F ?!! Seriously. On the official website wasn't it "Farman" ??? I'm scared folks... real scared. Sure, they're fine little details, but add up everything afformentioned and slowly you're going to being to lose the "new" US audience the dub is targeted for.
...and now my last point.
Dub script quality versus the original context
I have and watched the interview with Vic Mignogna at the Dallas anime convention before FMA aired in the states where he was talking about the complexity of having to reword some of the original japanese script to fit the lip flaps of the animation. By ALL MEANS I can truly understand how difficult this job is. I didn't really have positive things to say about this matter until episode 5. For the first four episodes, I got this really unsettling feeling that to understand such a deep and complex plot as FMA will turn out to be, that you really needed to have watched subs to fully understand what's going on. In some of the reworking of the script to english, a LOT of the explanation parts of the first 4 episodes were missing. Episode 4 especially. I know I can't be the only one who got this sensation. Try this. If you find a copy of the dub (which is released by a sub group out there) watch it. See if you can find spots in the episode where you would see and hear it play out and catch yourself saying "Wow... that blew right by me. Good thing I saw the sub and understood it."
What I mean by this is ... if I was going to explain to you how to peel an apple, I'd tell you in enough words to make sure you could do it. It could take me 50 words to do it. On the dub, in some places.... there wasn't enough emphasis on certain parts .. or "not enough words used" to make it flow. For example the part about how Ed put together Karin not dying and coming back. She never said anything about that. He just all of a sudden knew everything and broke down the door and told Majhal everything. Ed's and alchemist... not a psychic.
Overall, I'll continue to watch it. I just love the story reguardless of what language its in. I am a purist of the original, because that's what I saw first and it put me through a roller coaster of emotions as the plot wore on. I am a script editor for fansubbers as well, but had no part in any FMA scripts so I'm not baised. I'm just some dude in my mid 20's who watches quite a bit of anime, scripts a lot of anime, and enjoys a lot of anime. It's something that I myself, and probably many of you FMA fans out there have observed and made you want to write the same critiques or observations on. I was going to post this a week ago, but then decided... well.... give it 5 episodes total first. ^_^